The seventh annual Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament finished play Friday night.
During the evening, four new champions were crowned in each of the divisions including Southampton Academy winning three of four titles during their first run in the event.
Four new student-athletes were named winners of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship as well and a group of varsity girls and varsity boys were chosen as part of the All-Tournament Team.
“This event was the largest we have put together in seven years and one of the most exciting,” said Thadd White, Managing Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald who co-presents the event. “We had a tremendous crowd on hand Friday night and the games were all enjoyable.”
The night started with the Junior Varsity Girl’s Championship as Pungo Christian Academy met Southampton. The Lady Raiders of Southampton came away with a 28-15 win in the first final for both teams.
The next contest was the Junior Varsity Boy’s title game and Southampton Academy outlasted Lawrence Academy 42-25 to earn the championship.
The next contest was the Varsity Girl’s Championship and Ocracoke High School came away with the title, denying Southampton Academy the sweep thanks to a 23-19 victory.
Southampton Academy’s varsity boys, however, made sure the Raiders took three titles back to Courtland, Virginia as they knocked off Ocracoke 52-41.
“The games were quality contests as always,” said Joe Murray, owner of co-presenter United Country Joe Murray Realty. “As much fun as they are, I’m always excited when we get to the ceremony and reward the student-athletes for their hard work.”
The varsity girl’s Most Valuable Player was Lucy O’Neal from Ocracoke as she led the team with 10 points in the finals and helped pace their championship run.
Joining her on the All-Tournament Team were Sara Best (Southampton), Kelsie Conner (Bethel Christian Academy), Alma Flores (Ocracoke), Barclay Gatten (Southampton), Hennie Larabee (Ridgecroft School) and Alin Tellez (Ocracoke).
The tournament’s varsity girls’ order of finish was: Ocracoke High School, Southampton Academy, Bethel Christian Academy, Lawrence Academy, Ridgecroft School, Pungo Christian Academy, Northeast Academy and Ahoskie Christian School.
On the boy’s side, Tonee Hill of Southampton Academy was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Joining him on the All-Tournament Team were: Darren Armstrong (Lawrence), Julian Becker (Ridgecroft), Zach Best (Southampton), Walker Garrish (Ocracoke), Matt Rose (Southampton) and Andrew Tillett (Ocracoke).
The order of finish for the boys was: Southampton Academy, Ocracoke High School, Lawrence Academy, Ridgecroft School, Pungo Christian Academy, Bethel Christian Academy, Northeast Academy and Albemarle School.
The Lady Warriors of Lawrence Academy were then honored with the “Spirit of the Tournament” Award which goes to the team that best represents the values shown on the court by Nick Brantley. They include hard work, good sportsmanship and tremendous effort. The Lady Warriors are coached by Lee Hoffman.
A total of 12 student-athletes were nominated by six of the schools in the tournament for the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship. At the end of the event, the scholarship committee said the field was as good as any in the history of the event.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the 12 young people we interviewed,” Murray said. “We saw a group of quality young people who represented themselves, their schools and their parents extremely well.”
“We seem to always see some of the best student-athletes in the area,” he said. “This year was no exception. We had a difficult time narrowing our choices to four because they were all very deserving student-athletes. I know their schools and their parents are very proud.”
Earning the top honor of a $1,000 scholarship was Karissa Cahoon of Pungo Christian Academy.
The $500 award winners included Max Boone of Ridgecroft School, Priscilla Lunsford of Lawrence Academy and Jordan Harrell of Ridgecroft School.
Plans are already underway for the seventh annual event. Anyone wishing to donate to the scholarship can send it to the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship, c/o Ridgecroft School P.O. Box 1008, Ahoskie, NC 27910.